Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Super Delegates: Abraham Lincoln in "Young Mr. Lincoln" (1939)

Henry Fonda in Young Mr. Lincoln
Welcome to Super Delegates, a bi-monthly column released on Tuesdays and are done in part to recognize politics on film, specifically in regards to Oscar-nominated works. With this being an election year in the United States, it feels like a good time to revisit film history's vast relationship with politicians of any era and determine what makes them interesting while potentially connecting them to the modern era. The series plans to run until the end of this 2016 election cycle, so stay tuned for every installment and feel free to share your thoughts on films worthy of discussion in the comments section.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Review: "Kubo and the Two Strings" is a Gorgeous Masterpiece

Scene from Kubo and the Two Strings
In an era where animated films are more likely than not to get the CG treatment, one has to wonder if these movies carry the magic that they once did. Beyond the rare exceptions like How to Train Your Dragon 2 or Inside Out, most fall into a formulaic, familiar style that make for an enjoyable experience, but leave plenty to be desired in the aesthetic department. It is in reasoning like this that Laika's latest Kubo and the Two Strings isn't just the best animated film of the year, but possibly one of the most exciting and revolutionary aesthetically of the decade. The blend of stop motion and CG animation unveils the potential for what cinema can be by telling the story of a boy named Kubo (Art Parkinson), a Monkey (Charlize Theron), and a Beetle (Matthew McConaughey) as they go on a mystical journey that explores the grand themes of imagination. If nothing else, it's the studio's most assured film since 2009's Coraline, and it may be their most ambitious yet.

Best Song: "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" (2005)

Scene from Hustle & Flow
Welcome to Best Song, a new weekly column released on Sunday dedicated to chronicling the Best Original Song category over the course of its many decades. The goal is to listen to and critique every song that has ever been nominated in the category as well as find the Best Best Song and the Best Loser. By the end, we'll have a comprehensive list of this music category and will hopefully have a better understanding not only of the evolution, but what it takes to receive a nomination here. It may seem easy now, but wait until the bad years.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Ranking Amy Adams' 5 Oscar Nominated Roles

Amy Adams in Arrival
Today marks actress Amy Adams' 42nd birthday. Over the course of an impressive career, she has played everything from Disney princess to the wife of a cult leader. To say the least, her range is endless, and she continues to produce quality work on an almost annual basis. With the potential for a sixth nomination this fall with director Denis Villeneuve's alien invasion movie Arrival, there's no better time to be an Adams fan. While we wait for her next film to win us over, the following is a ranking of her current five Oscar nominations, of which shows off her charisma as well as argues the case as to why she doesn't have an Oscar yet. She more than deserves one.